Second thoughts about gambling

Over the last twenty-four hours, I’ve rethought my views on legalized gambling, although my plan goes much farther than any of the proposals thus far. If we are really interested in raising money for state government, things like education and health care for the needy, why should we allow a private company to take a share, when the whole take could go back to the good folks of the State of Florida? Rather than a Department of the Lottery, we could have a Department of Gaming. That’s right, I envision an entire slate of state run gambling, kind of like the state owned liquor stores in New Hampshire. Why stop with selling meager lotto tickets and taxing slot machines when we could have it all. Picture a state run casino, with tuxedo clad state employees, running blackjack tables, dealing high stakes poker, and jockeying the dice. In this age of recasting old, disagreeable practices, with new, more palatable names, we could discard the term “gambling” in favor of the “Voluntary Tax.” I can envision Voluntary Tax kiosks in the malls, self serve “Voluntary Tax stations” in high pedestrian traffic areas that accept all major credit cards, and authorized Voluntary Tax “resellers” at all of your favorite retailers. Just imagine going through your favorite fast food drive-thru, but instead of being asked if you want your value meal super-sized, you are asked if you would like to take the points on this week’s Bucs game.